San Francisco’s Dogpatch District, a waterfront neighborhood once known for its industrial spaces, has rapidly become a haven for the arts. Old factories are turning into art galleries and studios, while quaint shops and indie boutiques are popping up alongside a growing lineup of great restaurants. The creative energy here is infectious; everything feels bright and new and colorful and exciting. What was once something of a hidden gem is hidden no more. Once a neighborhood grows this culturally vibrant, people are going to notice. So, creatives of all disciplines are packing up their gear and heading to the canine-labeled enclave by the Bay to be a part of the community. The New York Times recently took notice, calling Dogpatch “America’s Next Great Art Neighborhood” in T Magazine. They’re right. Dogpatch has that certain spark that other renowned art districts have; its vitality draws you in immediately.
Dogpatch is San Francisco’s oldest historic district, and it features a refined mix of industrial and residential architecture that dates back to the 1860s—which is exceptionally early for a West Coast city. In particular, the lots around 22nd and 23rd Streets have attracted enterprising gallerists from all over San Francisco and New York City, due to the massive amount of space available and the nurturing and experimental ambience.
Top San Francisco gallerists like Claudia Altman Siegel have lauded Dogpatch for the way in which its arts community draws focus to the local scene without threatening it with overexposure. “We have a lot of creative freedom,” she tells T Magazine, noting that, while San Francisco is getting attention from the art world, “we’re not in a Chelsea-like environment with 100 galleries and hundreds of critics all watching what you’re doing. Here, you just do whatever you want.” That sense of freedom attracted San Francisco native Andrew McClintock, who used to ride his bike through Dogpatch as a kid, and who recently established Ever Gold Projects here. “Conceptually, there is much more space out in the Dogpatch,” says McClintock, adding that it gives gallerists and artists “space to think and breathe in this ever-encroaching city.” Transplants from New York are putting down roots, too. Hip Lower East Side art spaces Invisible-Exports and bitforms gallery have recently arrived in the form of pop-up outposts.
Scenes build artists as much as artists build scenes; the energy is circular; it nurtures itself. So, it should be noted that San Francisco is one of the premiere cities for modern art, especially now that SFMOMA’s major renovation has made it the largest contemporary art museum on the planet. And, as the city’s artistic footprint has developed and diversified, collectors have grown increasingly attuned to what’s happening in Dogpatch. For example, the Minnesota Street Project (MSP), which was established by local art patrons Deborah and Andy Rappaport, is housed in a former Dogpatch warehouse. Spanning more than 100,000 square feet, the MSP space is dedicated to arts nonprofits, galleries, and artists’ studios, and soon it will also feature a new restaurant and bar from local celebrity chef Daniel Patterson of Coi.
Residents of 815 Tennessee’s new luxury condos can enjoy watching Dogpatch’s artistic scene unfold, while playing a direct role in its exciting expansion. If weekends full of gallery visits, dining at superb but low-key neighborhood restaurants, and exploring unusual historic buildings are your style, Dogpatch may be your ideal urban paradise.